National News


Controversial video game Manhunt 2 has finally been given the go ahead for release in the UK.

Manhunt 2, the sequel to Manhunt, a violent and graphic Playstation game was originally banned by the Video Appeals Committee. However the ban has been overturned and given a much required eighteen certificate.

When Rockstar, the game producers, first wanted to release the game it came under much criticism and was banned due to its violent and graphic content.

The Video Appeals Committee said the game ‘went too far’ which sparked a nine-month battle between censors and producers Rockstar. The BBFC banned the game in June 2007 and later rejected a edited version.

The director of the BBFC, David Cooke said: “We twice rejected Manhunt 2, and then pursued a judicial review challenge, because we considered, after exceptionally thorough examination, that it posed a real potential harm risk.

“However, the Video Appeals Committee has again exercised its independent scrutiny. It is now clear, in the light of this decision, and our legal advice, that we have no alternative but to issue an 18 certificate to the game.”

Rockstar have always claimed that the game doesn’t contain anything more graphic than other games and films of the same nature. The Saw films being their key examples.

In a statement, the company said: “We are pleased that the VAC has reaffirmed its decision recognizing that Manhunt 2 is well within the bounds established by other 18+ rated entertainment.

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The Daily Express has issued an apology to Gerry and Kate McCann in a libel settlement, over stories published about the McCanns.

The Daily Express and Daily Star released stories linking the McCanns to the disappearance of their daughter, Madeleine, 3, however have now admitted “the utter falsity ” of various stories written about them.

As well as apologising, the newspaper group has also paid £550,000 to the Find Madeleine Campaign. It said it was wrong to suggest that the couple were respsonsible for for Madeleine’s death.

Madeleine disappeared days before her fourth birthday, whilst on a family holiday in the resort Praia Da Luz in the Algarve on 3 May last year. Her parents of Rothley, Leicestershire, were named as suspects but have always denied any involvement in her disappearance.

The McCanns didn’t attend the hearing at London High Court, however the couple’s spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, read a statement out on their behalf.

It said: “We are pleased that Express Newspapers have today admitted the utter falsity of the numerous grotesque and grossly defamatory allegations that their titles published about us on a sustained basis over many months. ”

“The exceptional publication of these apologies, together with today’s statement of full apology in open court before Mr Justice Eady, was the only just and proper response by Express Newspapers following our complaint.”

Wednesday’s editions of both the Daily Express and Daily Star have apologies to the couple via their headline, “Kate and Gerry McCann: Sorry.”

For both newspapers to perform a complete u-turn and apologise has come as a surprise for many people. Media Commentator Roy Greenslade described the move by both national newspapers as “unprecedented”.

With both national newspapers having already apologised, it’s widely expected their sister papers will also issue apologies in their Sunday editions.

Daily Express and Daily Star

Missing Nine year old girl, Shannon Matthews, was found alive in the base of a divan bed earlier today. 

She was found more than three weeks after she disappeared, in Batley Carr, about a mile from her family home.

 A 39 year old man was arrested on suspicion of abduction, and later charged with kidnap,  following scenes of police carrying the nine year old school girl out of the house.

The man appeared in court today charged with kidnap and false inprisonment of Shannon Matthews. Michael Donovan, 39, was remanded in custody by Dewsbury magistrates. There has been no application for bail for Mr Donovan.

Sufficient evident has been collected in order to charge Michael Donovan, formerly known as Paul Drake, and he will appear infront of Dewsbury Magistrates on Tuesday.